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The 'Turons of Tellsburg' - Jonathan Davis' Fiery Trial

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The 'Turons of Tellsburg' - Jonathan Davis' Fiery Trial
Post by aurabass   » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:21 pm

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After Kevin T. Collins butchered every key pronunciation Midst Toil & Tribulation; I had to ponder if it was possible to do worse. Well, it is possible.

I don't understand it, Mr. Weber. Is it Mcmillan Audio that sticks you with a narrator like Collins or Davis? Is it ARROGANCE or IGNORANCE that gives us performances like these?

How hard would it be to insist a narrator listen to enough of Oliver Wyman's 5 narrations, Jason Culps 2, or even Charles Keating?
Collins was the worst up until now:
Nimue was NIM U AY :roll:
Merlin was Athraws not Ath thraw es. :?:

Now Davis has Tell is burg as Tells burg :oops: and
Terran becomes TUR-ON :lol:
Both of these say PIE KA instead of Peeca

`I am a confirmed SAFEHOLD addict. I have the entire audio set on my FIRE tablet and the set has played through prior to every new release. I figure I've listened to most of the series 8 or 9 times. I truly enjoy and appreciate these incredibly dense and detailed works of art. I wish I had the capacity to read them in print but alas I am stuck with the audio versions

OLIVER WYMAN IS GREAT - Jason Culp is very fine - Charles Keating was not a problem - but hearing Collins and now Davis butcher key pronunciations is like fingernails on a blackboard.

I noticed your note in my Honorverse Series concerning the pronunciations where you took the blame. I wonder how you or McMillian can put up with narrators who can't take the time to learn how to pronounce Narman, Charleyann, Nimue, Athrawes, Terran and Tellisburg?
Davis really butchers Twerio - PICA Nimue's chosen last name. THIS IS EMBARRASSING :oops:

I probably misspell the names due to immersion in the audio versions but I am certain I would not wish to offend Safehold audio listeners with butchered pronunciations. I cannot imagine the mindset of Collins or Davis. Is it arrogance or ignorance - The Wyman and Culp pronunciations are available in 7 40 hour novels. How hard would it be to get it right?

Who sits down to read a new addition to an established series without knowing how to pronounce the KEY NAMES?
THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS INATTITION TO DETAIL your work is too good to be butchered like this.

Barry Bozeman - dedicated SAFEHOLD SERIES FAN AND ADDICT
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Re: The 'Turons of Tellsburg' - Jonathan Davis' Fiery Trial
Post by Fiannawolf   » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:34 am

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I guess its mostly personal preference because I'm pretty much on the other side of this spectrum.

I'd say he's one of my favorite Audible actors besides Jeff Hays, RC Bray, Allyson Johnson, Eric Michael Summerer, Luke Daniels, John Lee and Marc Thompson.

That's only the recent ones I can think of. Most of my purchases are in the space opera/military sci fi category so that would also contribute to my bias. :P

The one thing I can think of as far as preferences go, most of the VAs above vary their voices in a way that lets me know which character is talking. Plus I like the pitch of their voices as they go along. Esp if they change things up a bit while doing regular narration vs character speaking.

If anything my dream cast would be all those people on the Safehold books, doing a full cast unabridged setup. I'd say Davis is my favorite so far for Safehold's Narration. Then Culp, then Wyman. Keating and Collins didn't really engage my ears as much but I imagine they have their fans too.

Heck, if they decided to re-record the series, I'd want Davis to be narrating all of them.
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Re: The 'Turons of Tellsburg' - Jonathan Davis' Fiery Trial
Post by aurabass   » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:13 pm

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I apologize Finnawolf but your reply astounds me. For me your reply indicates a stunning lack of familiarity with the recorded version of the Safehold series.
I have listened to this entire series twice since October to prepare myself for this Fiery Trials release. I know which character is speaking without any identifier. I have listened to Armageddon Reef no less than a dozen times.

TERRAN is so easy - it derives from old Terra - The EARTH and is used in terraforming and terrain - Yet J Davis thinks it is pronounced Turon?

TEILISBURG has been pronounced TELLIS BURG by all 4 previous narrators in 9 previous books yet Davis says TELLS BURG every single time
SNOW CRASH read by Davis is a personal favorite.
You may love Davis's work in other series and perhaps even I could take it if he were to have read every previous book BUT HE DID NOT READ OR HEAR THE PREVIOUS BOOKS and he has an obligation to the LISTENERS OF THE SERIES to KNOW how these names have been pronounced -but more importantly than that the personalities of these revered characters have been established in their speech patterns over 9 previous works. That canon is sacrosanct.

You may be right - Davis may be a great narrator - I personally find him very difficult to hear - BUT THAT ISN'T THE POINT.

We Safehold devotees deserve some basic continuity and a narrator who has done minimal homework. A 10 novel series requires continuity and DAVIS evidently didn't bother to listen to anything. That really burns me. How can he get paid to butcher this great work without heeding some basic clues provided by previous readers?

DAVIS ISN'T JUST BAD - HE'S ARROGANT OR IGNORANT
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Re: The 'Turons of Tellsburg' - Jonathan Davis' Fiery Trial
Post by AJNolte   » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:47 pm

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As someone who is visually-impaired and so consumes sci-fi either entirely via e-text or audio books, I listen to maybe a hundred-odd audio books in a given year. And this changing pronunciation issue happens _every_ time there's a different narrator in the middle of a series.

Literally every time.

The only way you get consistent pronunciation throughout on everything, and consistent character voice work throughout on everything, is to have the same narrator for an entire series. And that's not easy. People quit voice acting, or move to a different voice acting company, or become unavailable to do the voice work for a series. And the more books in a series, the more likely you are to have that problem.

I've mostly listened to the safehold series via the national library service for the blind. At last count, they've gone through four narrators in-house, and I think they got HFQ through an audible donation [but I'm not sure, since I got impatient and bought that one, along with this one, as soon as they came out]. Pronunciation of Charis has veered between "chair" and "car" more times than I can count. And last names? Forget about it.

Unfortunately, it's just the nature of the medium. If the series is big enough and the differences are noticeable enough, you might, maybe, get a re-record a couple years later. Otherwise? *Shrug* you deal, and thank God you don't have to wait two extra weeks for forty CDS or 100 cassettes to show up at your local book store anymore.

PS: The reason a narrator's not going to take time to listen to those 9 40-hour previous novels you mention before recording? Time. I'm not up on all the nitty-gritty details, but I suspect narrators get paid based on the length of the book and the delivery time. And you're probably working multiple audio projects at once, or else jumping from one to another as soon as possible. And there are hundreds of people and place names in a Safehold book. Yeah, if I'm a contract narrator with a fixed deliverable date and 32 hours of audio to record--which is probably already going to take several times that long to produce--I'm not taking the time to listen to the entire series to make sure I get all of them right either. Maybe, if I've got the time and interact with the author directly, I talk to them about general rules of pronounciation in a series like this. Maybe.
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Re: The 'Turons of Tellsburg' - Jonathan Davis' Fiery Trial
Post by Fiannawolf   » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:55 pm

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Me? I like the timber of Davis over Wyman's. Plus I like his pronunciations a whole ton better. Its mostly personal preference.

I like the gruffer voices that Davis pulls off. Plus I say characters names a whole lot differently in my head then any of the narrators did. That's alright. To me, Wyman kept pronouncing things wrong in comparison to my own preferences.

Davis is a whole lot closer to how I say the various names.

Maybe one day they will be able to re-record the whole series with one narrator but in reality I want them to give the safehold series a Dune audiobook ensemble cast makeover.

But Nolte is right, if you don't have a single narrator, akin to Harrington, you end up with "your tastes vary here" syndrome.
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Re: The 'Turons of Tellsburg' - Jonathan Davis' Fiery Trial
Post by aurabass   » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:51 am

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Take it for granted that different readers are different and certainly there is too much time involved for a new reader to review all 9 previous works

BUT HOW HARD WOULD IT BE for COLLINS OR DAVIS to contact Weber and at a bare minimum learn basic names and places

And I don't care who you are TERRAN = TERRA - TERRAFORMING - TERRESTRIAL TERRITORY TERRAIN and Davis's TURON is simply baffling when the TERRAN FEDERATION is a key oft mentioned aspect of Safehold. TURON in that context is absurd.

It is an embarrassing mistake - If Weber and McMillian are going to hire a reader and editor one of the two has to have enough sense to find out how the specific Safehold nomenclature is pronounced. TELLISBURG IS TELLIS BURG not TELLSBURG and that city is constantly referenced.

Sure we can make excuses but great works deserve some minimal attention to detail and McMillan gets 25 to 40 bucks a copy for this work - and for certain Davis is paid for his time. Beyond that is the basic craft of reading that requires knowing what has gone before in order to read it right.

Excuses are a poor substitute for good work and I am embarrassed for David Weber and McMillian - This problem is easily solved with a short meeting - decent editing in the sound booth - and basic quality control.

I have no problem with Davis's vocal quality or timbre but his lack of care or desire to get it right is a fault that need not occur.
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Re: The 'Turons of Tellsburg' - Jonathan Davis' Fiery Trial
Post by IBRAM   » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:50 am

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I didn't like Jonathan Davis reading at all. I swear he made one character sound like Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. Returned my audio book after 3 hours. Couldn't deal with the voices and how he pronounced everything. Guess I'll have to set some time aside to read the rest of the series since we cant have Oliver Wyman read any more of them.

All hail the TURON federation! LOL
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Re: The 'Turons of Tellsburg' - Jonathan Davis' Fiery Trial
Post by Fiannawolf   » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:06 pm

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We must be hearing different things because I dont hear turon. He says terran but with a different emphasis on different syllables/consonants.

Thing is: I remember a thread a while back, sometime in August I think. Wyman isnt coming back at all because he was fired from the audiobook line.

For making a self made change in the audio edition. Making two characters kiss when that wasn't even in the original line setup.

If anything he mostly hurt himself in that regard b/c Mr. Weber does door stoppers. So that's a fair amount of revenue Wyman isnt going to get anymore. If I was in the VO business I'd love to be on big honking books. Even if the work was rather epic in scope.

Regardless of how we both feel in this situation about the narrator, the audiobooks, digital and dead tree portion are selling well.

Seems like Podium and Baen books usually keep their series in line with the same narrators. Along with some indies like M.R. Forbes.

I'm not embarrassed for Davis and most of the other narrators for this series. Tomato Tamato.

Based on Wyman's twitter feed, he just might have let some of his own subconscious bias into the work. Which is a shame but if I was in his shoes, I'd have my professional work social sources and a private alt/undercover name for political commentary.

I guess we will find out how things went with Davis depending on how the next audiobook turns out.

I suppose I'm more easy going when it comes to audio tastes.
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Re: The 'Turons of Tellsburg' - Jonathan Davis' Fiery Trial
Post by jzaun   » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:34 pm

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I'm with aurabass on this. I can't stand listening to Davis. His pronunciations are completely inconsistent. I literally listen for 10-15 min and have to turn it off for an hour before trying again. I normally listen for hours on end at work. This is just very very disappointing and really degrades the whole experience.

I honestly don't know if I'll be able to finish the book and that would be the end of the series for me.
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Re: The 'Turons of Tellsburg' - Jonathan Davis' Fiery Trial
Post by IBRAM   » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:37 pm

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aurabass wrote:
I don't understand it, Mr. Weber. Is it Mcmillan Audio that sticks you with a narrator like Collins or Davis? Is it ARROGANCE or IGNORANCE that gives us performances like these?


I saw this in another thread (change in narrators) and thought it might answer some questions. From the below i guess they didn't discuss pronunciations.

runsforcelery wrote:While I'm thinking about it, at my request, Oliver Wyman will not be narrating any more of my titles from Macmillan Audio. The new narrator for TFT will be Jonathan Davis. I've told Macmillan that I'll be happy to discuss pronunciations and stuff with Mr. Davis if he decides that would be a good thing for him to do.
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